Microsoft

Chrome 32 takes Windows 8.1 way beyond any Windows 8 app

Greg Shultz describes how to use Google Chrome 32 in Windows 8.1 to perform as a desktop browser and a modern app browser.

 

1_chrome_frame_hands.jpg
 

If you use Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 and are a Google fanatic, you're going to love the latest version of Chrome. It's a standard browser for the desktop; it's a browser app for the Start Screen; it's the Chrome OS; it's an oddity and much more, all in a neat little package. You really have to see it to believe it. I'll describe how to download, install, and use Google Chrome 32 in Windows 8.1.

Get Chrome 32

You don't have to go to the Windows Store to get the new Chrome. To get started, launch your current browser and go to the Google Chrome page. On the Chrome site, click the Download Chrome button (Figure A).

Figure A

 

Chrome32Win81_FigA_012114.png
 

Click the Download Chrome button.

When you see the Terms of Service page (Figure B), the first thing you should do is select the Set Google Chrome As My Default Browser check box. Chrome must be set as the default browser in order to perform its dual act as a desktop browser and a modern app browser. (Don't fret, though: If you later decide to return your current browser to its prominent position, you can do so quite easily.) If you want to send statistics and such to Google, you would select the second check box on that screen. To continue, click the Accept And Install button.

Figure B

 

Chrome32Win81_FigB_012114.png
 

Make Chrome your default browser.

I downloaded Chrome 32 from Internet Explorer, so during the Google Installer portion of the download operation, I encountered an Application Run - Security Warning, which basically informed me that Google wasn't to be trusted. I clicked Run anyway, and the download proceeded as normal (Figure C). As if the first warning wasn't enough, I had to work through a User Account Control (UAC) dialog box.

Figure C

 

Chrome32Win81_FigC_012114.png
 

You have to acknowledge that you accept the consequences of downloading the Google Installer.

Once you get through the UAC, Chrome will begin to download without any interference (Figure D).

Figure D

 

Chrome32Win81_FigD_012114.png
 

The actual Chrome download proceeds without any interference.

Install Chrome 32

As soon as the download is complete, you'll see a Toast notification that you have a new app that can open webpages (Figure E). While you do have a modern app that can open webpages, you won't find a Google tile on the Start Screen; instead, you'll find a Chrome icon embedded in the Taskbar right next to Internet Explorer and File Explorer (Figure F). You'll also find a Chrome shortcut on your desktop. 

Figure E

 

Chrome32Win81_FigE_012114.png
 

A Toast notifies you when the installation is complete.

Figure F

 

Chrome32Win81_FigF_012114.png
 

You'll find a Chrome icon embedded in the Taskbar.

When you click the Chrome icon, you'll see a Welcome dialog box that prompts you to click Next to choose your default browser. After clicking Next, you'll see a little pop-up that shows your choices (Figure G). I thought this was a bit weird since I already specified that I wanted Chrome to be my default browser, but I clicked the Chrome icon again.

Figure G

 

Chrome32Win81_FigG_012114.png
 

You need to specify again that you want Chrome to be your default browser.

Use Chrome 32

Chrome will launch in standard desktop mode and prompt you to enter your Gmail credentials (Figure H), so that everything associated with your Google account can be accessible from Chrome. After that, you can use Chrome in desktop mode to browse the web just like you always have.

Figure H

 

Chrome32Win81_FigH_012114.png
 

After you sign in, everything associated with your Google account can be made accessible from Chrome.

To move Chrome into windows app mode, click the Menu button and select Relaunch Chrome In Windows 8 Mode (Figure I).

Figure I

 

Chrome32Win81_FigI_012114.png
 

Select Relaunch Chrome In Windows 8 Mode to move out of desktop mode.

Chrome will transform itself into a Windows 8 app like you've never seen; in fact, it becomes more of a Chrome OS-like environment than just a simple app. This environment consists of a number of unique components and features that take it way beyond any Windows 8 app that you've seen, and it does so without adhering to any of the standardized Windows 8 app guidelines. Chrome offers unique features such as its own Start menu-like control complete with a Taskbar-like control called the Shelf, and it even supports multiple windows with Snap-like controls. 

You'll see the Chrome browser appear in the center of the full screen environment (Figure J), but it's not stuck there -- you can click the Title bar and drag a window anywhere on the screen that you want. Key features in this Chrome OS/Windows 8 app amalgamation are identified with number icons in the figure and described below.

Figure J

 

Chrome32Win81_FigJ_012114.png
 

This is more of a Chrome OS-like environment than just a simple app.

  1. Hover over the button at the top right and you'll see a menu that allows you snap the window to the right or the left, complete with shadowed animations, minimize the window, as well as maximize the window.
  2. Click the button at the bottom left and you'll see all the Google apps that you have installed. You can even search the Google app store from this menu.
  3. Right-click any app icon and you'll see a menu that allows you to configure how the app is to open. You can even pin icons to the Shelf.
  4. On the Shelf you'll find the icons of the pinned and running apps. The icons of minimized apps have a silver shadow under them.
  5. While the Shelf appears on the bottom edge of the environment, right clicking on the Shelf displays a menu that allows you to reposition the Shelf to any of the other edges.
  6. There's even a clock that appears in the lower right corner. Hover over it and you'll see the date.

While you can open any of the Google apps as tabs in the Chrome browser as you would in the desktop, in this environment, you can open any Google app in a separate window that you can move anywhere in the environment that you want (Figure K).

Figure K

 

Chrome32Win81_FigK_012114.png
   

You can open Google apps in separate windows that you can move anywhere.

While the inside of the Chrome environment functions independently from Windows 8, the environment itself has the same functionality as other apps. For example, you use the same drag down operation to close it. You can also snap the entire Chrome environment to one side of the screen and access other Windows 8 apps (Figure L).

Figure L

 

Chrome32Win81_FigL_012114.png
 

The entire Chrome environment acts like a regular Windows 8 app.

Stop Chrome 32

When you close the Chrome environment, anytime you launch it subsequently, it will instantly appear as a Windows 8 app. If you want it to go back to being just a desktop browser, click the Menu button in Chrome and select Relaunch Chrome On The Desktop. You can also return Chrome to a desktop browser by launching Internet Explorer, which will immediately prompt you to make it the default browser (Figure M). If you click the Set Default Browser button, Chrome will immediately return to a desktop browser, and Internet Explorer will take over as the default browser for both the desktop and the modern UI.

Figure M

 

Chrome32Win81_FigM_012114.png
 

Internet Explorer will immediately want to take back control of browser duty.

What's your take?

Have you used the new Chrome in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1? If so, has been your experience? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

 

 

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

33 comments
clonex10100
clonex10100

I'm trying to use this on a desktop computer, but it's really annoying to use. whenever i try to click on somthing on the shelf, the windows task bar pops up unless i try to click the very topp of the shelf. I also can't click the app launcher because the start button get's in the way. When i try to switch tabs the windows 8 minimaze//close bar gets in the way

sullyinboston
sullyinboston

Thank you Greg Shultz. Your article on Windows 8 and Google Chrome made my transition from IE very smooth. I'm not a power user. I bought a Lenovo Tablet 2 from the Lenovo Outlet to have it on vacation. Your help will make this little sucker look just like the big screen on my desktop. 

Thomas_Bounce
Thomas_Bounce

I'm new to the Windows Surface word. I just got a 1st Gen RT for dirt cheap. Before you freak out bc RT "sucks", remember it was dirt cheap w/typecover. So, I've heard I can't get Chrome on it. Is this true even if I upgrade to RT 8.1 ? Thanks for anyone's help.

TechyEric
TechyEric

The Biggest drawback to my continued use of Chrome in Win 8 mode is that it doesn't seem to allow use of any chrome/google windows on a second monitor.  When i try to move a window or app to the other screen it either won't move over or, if it does, it moves the whole set of Chrome-as-Win-8 apps over, leaving the other monitor blank and useless.


Also, the Gmail button only opens one mail account as an app.  if i want to open a 2nd account, it will only open as a tab in chrome.


For those 2 reasons, I am going back to desktop mode.

Alden.W
Alden.W

I heard Torch is the best browser, what is everyone's opinions on this? Please email me and let me know which browser is the best for online gaming.
bill1979.aw@gmail.com I use Windows 8.1

pwdalt
pwdalt

I have gone back to desktop mode.  I do research, hence, lots of copy and paste into MS Office apps, and switching screens was a real pain.


I can see a benefits if using Google Docs, but I collaborate with others and MS Office is the standard.


Great article though! Thank you for that.

nesdave1
nesdave1

I'm confused, Greg. You were warned twice about security issues and you loaded it up anyway. I'm guessing you had an older computer o play with! Then you bypassed the UAC? It sounds like a made up label on a pistol: Caution! may be dangerous if loaded! Load before using.

But apparently you didn't take t time to read the licensing agreement. Or you never planed to use it anyway. Either way, I have read the reviews and take security very seriously. I won't install free access to everyone, even if NSA IS watching!

choworth
choworth

I love chrome.  Its cloud computing for free.  I agree with the caution about banking though.  I went to my brother inlaws house and needed to use his computer, i launched CHrome and saw he had several bookmarks etc and realized I didnt have the Chrome profile I needed to get to the bookmark I needed.  He wasnt logged into Chrome and simply had saved links and bookmarks in Chrome without associating it to a Google account.  I then logged into my Google profile AND IT MERGED ALL OF HIS BOOKMARKS INTO MY ACCOUNT INCLUDING ALL CREDIT CARD NUMBERS AND EXPIRY DATES OF WEBSITES HE HAD STORED THE INFORMATION AT LIKE AMAZON!  I found this out the next day when I was back at home and logged into my facebook page and it came up as him!?!  No problem I logged out as him.  The I went to by something online at Amazon and again it said I was Mike.  I pushed through the process and sure enough I was fully logged in with all his information including seeing both his credit cards on file along with there expiry dates.  I still love and will continue to use Chrome but all I can say is keep your computer and laptop out of reach whenever you have a service call done at your house!!!

wyophilell
wyophilell

So ... only Google stuff on the taskbar? 

Gisabun
Gisabun

Oh craps. You need to login with a Google account to use the browser? No thanks. I don't need to have my favorites and stuff in the cloud when everyone knows Google will some how use the data I store there [like they way they read your Gmail messages].

And then you have to wait for a new update every 2-3 weeks with a dozen or so vulnerabilities that were fixed only to have that version replaced by another one because that one had another dozen or so vulnerabilities.

carlsf
carlsf

Sorry Google....


I DONT want WIN8 style on my Google in fact anything like WIN8 is OUT in our business.


We will stick to the orginal Google UI and if Google want to force a WIN8 experiance on us well they will go the way of Microsoft and will no longer be a requirement in our business.

Network Doctor
Network Doctor

@Greg Shultz  You should have started this article with a HUGE WARNING before showing this to the world. Everyone please read the terms before doing this. Basically Google states that they can do anything with the data on your computer and/or anything you enter into the Chrome Browser. Remember if it is free you have to pay for it somehow. If you choose to do this to your computer make sure it is one that you DO NOT use for on line banking, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, etc.. You don't want Google having access to all those accounts, passwords or private information. Please add a warning letting people know that they need to completely understand what they are doing before exposing themselves. Thank you.

Tim Lider
Tim Lider

Only problem with going that route is loosing security externsion like Norton Safe Internet

pbug56
pbug56

I would really appreciate it if Google hit the brakes on new feature development long enough to fix Chrome on Win 7 and Android.  


On Win 7, many people have crashes nearly every time they upload or download a file, even in GMAIL.  Very, very frustrating, since all tabs close, and you often can't reopen Chrome without rebooting since the last Chrome process hangs and locks the profile.  Response to this problem is amazingly thin and weak.


On Android, it frequently hangs or gets very, very slow.  It can take minutes after it 'opens' before it actually sends a request to a site, let alone sets up the page.  It makes me tempted to go back to using the extremely bloated Dolphin browser.  


So hey - Google, before you push new features on 7 or Android, or push to do things on Windoze 8.x MUTRO CGA GUI, please fix what you already have out there!

sparent
sparent

The Chrome browsers on both my desktop and my Surface were, of course, upgraded automatically. Interestingly, I am not offered the option to toggle between Windows 8 and Desktop mode on my Surface anymore.


I don't see Chrome having implemented zooming by gesture yet. I still have to go to the menu and select the desired zooming.


We use Barracuda's VPN at work. It forces me to run Chrome in Desktop mode.



SteveGates54
SteveGates54

Is this a joke? Why limit yourself with Chrome mode, when have full Windows? Chrome cant run under lock, doesn't support connected standby, no toast notifications, no tile support, no touch support, its useless.

The Daleks
The Daleks

This works OK on Windows 8.1, but the Shelf and the popup menu (figure 2, above) displays only built-in extensions, not extensions that I added. Re-adding extensions doesn't make a difference. And the Apps button that's normally on the left side of Chrome doesn't appear in this alternate mode. However, I can still find the extensions to the right of the address bar, in the browser.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

Doesn't work for me. I installed exactly according to the instructions but no "Toaster" notification (??) and definitely no "Start Chrome in Windows 8 mode" option on the menu.


If I go to Win8 start menu, and then the "down arrow in a circle" at bottom left that shows all the apps in equal-sized tiles, there's a Chrome button - which starts the desktop mode Chrome.


I have 8.1 installed, but also Start 8 & Modern Mix. I wonder if one of those is sabotaging Chrome running in Moderm mode?

carlsf
carlsf

No Ill be sticking to Google as it was, we/I DONT/WONT have anything that is WIN8 like in our ecosystem.


WINDOWS 8/8.1 is a PIG and a UI that is CRA#

midlantic
midlantic

Just goes to show you what a programmer, who really looks at the possible features available in Win 8, can do.

Davinder Sangha
Davinder Sangha

I did give it a go, but I think for a tablet, the navigation icons need to be much larger. It is manageable, but I still use IE on my Lenovo tablet, but exclusively use the Desktop on my laptop with Chrome, and IE doesn't get a look in. 

andrew.glenda
andrew.glenda

Is this for the Surface tab as well???????????????????????

cromero
cromero

Another idiot complaining about User Account Controls (UAC)  What?  Were you born yesterday?

esmith1
esmith1

Don't like it.  I use RoboForm and it doesn't support it outside of desktop mode.

秦淮一梦
秦淮一梦

@Thomas_Bounce  Unfortunately, Windows RT 8.1 does not allow third party desktop application to launch and work, so you won't be able to run Google Chrome natively, if you want to use Google Chrome, you may set up remote desktop at your home or Microsoft Azure and use Google Chrome by remoting, but the experience won't be good as native.

X_Tech
X_Tech

@carlsf Or you can give the new interface a chance and see if you like it. Who knows you might like it better than before, or not. It is really up to you.

Orionsweb
Orionsweb

@Network Doctor  you should read the privacy policy.. Google does not have access to your personal private information.. they are governed by the same laws the Microsoft has to deal with. 
Yes you can opt to send them non-personal information, but their Privacy policy is very clear they do not collect personalized data such as your bank information etc. Besides.. there's always private mode. 
Microsoft, and Apple collect far more personalized data than Google does. Sorry to burst your bubble there. 


Orionsweb
Orionsweb

@rtroy56  never had a problem 5 systems on win7 here all running chrome not a single issue crashing. also 4 instances of chrome on android and also no issues... 3 + years with all of them.. not sure where you're getting your issues from? possibly an issue with other software you have not playing well with Google??


bigsteve666
bigsteve666

@rtroy56 I have none of those problems in 7, nor any in Android, so it is possible there are problems with your machines and not with the program.

Orionsweb
Orionsweb

@The Daleks  It won't display extensions only apps that you install from the chrome apps store..
It shows all the ones I installed eg. gtasks, evernote, pluggio, play books etc..

SethRK
SethRK

@esmith1 You can use the Roboform Lite extension for Chrome (search extensions in Chrome). It is not the full feature set, but it is usable. This assumes you are using Roboform Everywhere.

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